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"A Kingdom-Giving God"


Devotion 

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 Aug. 8, 2019
 
Luke 12:22-34 - And He (Jesus) said to His disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
 
As I write this, the cathedral of Notre Dame is burning.

People in my office are whispering and grieving. It seems impossible that something so beautiful, so famous, so old, should be destroyed. The first stone was laid in 1160—how could 2019 see it fall? Eight centuries of beauty gone in a day—no wonder we feel shaken. And we remember our own mortality—that we, too, have a time limit. We, too, must die.

Against this background, it is odd to hear Jesus saying, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. ... Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" Anxious? Yes, indeed, we are anxious! We worry about our children, our jobs, our health. We grow anxious when a spouse is angry, an election draws near, a major bill comes in the mail. Our world is burning. Who can help us?

Against all of this, Jesus says, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious .... All the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

The cathedral may be burning, but the cathedral's Lord is still with us. Our lives may be full of stress, but Jesus is with us as He has always been—walking with us, holding us in His hands, keeping us in His care. Nothing can take God's love away from us. Nothing, not even death—not even death on a cross!—can keep Jesus from the people He came to save. He has risen from the dead, and He promises to be with us forever. He will never leave us alone—not in this life, and not in the life to come.

THE PRAYER: Dear Father, when we are shaken, help us to trust in Your Son Jesus, who is always with us. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.

Reflection Questions:

1. What are you most anxious about in life? How long has this been a stressor for you?

2. Does the natural world (lilies, birds, etc.) make you think of God's care?

3. What do you/can you do to "seek His kingdom" in your life? 
Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 136, 146    1 Corinthians 3

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